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Mexico pulls out of race for 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments

September 29, 2009 | 11:17 am


Mexico, which was not favored to be granted either tournament, today pulled out of the race to stage the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

The decision was announced on the Mexican soccer federation's website and was blamed on a lack of financial resources.

"The short-term prospects do not permit officials of the ... federation, nor local or federal officials, to finance public works at the level this event requires," the federation stated.

"The decision is based on two factors, the world economic situation and the investment needs in infrastructure," said Decio de Maria, the federation's general secretary.

Mexico, which played host to the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, had planned several new stadiums, including a state-of-the-art replacement for Azteca Stadium, along with other projects, but officials have realized that the country lags far behind the leading contenders for the two tournaments, namely England in 2018 and the U.S. in 2022.

Other contenders for either tournament are Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, a joint bid by the Netherlands and Belgium and a joint bid by Portugal and Spain. In addition, Qatar and South Korea are bidding for 2022 only.

FIFA, world soccer's governing body, will make its decision on both events in December 2010.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Players on Mexico's national team participate in a team training session on Sept. 8. Credit: Claudio Cruz / Associated Press